Steelman Manzanita 853 Frameset

5/5 (14 Reviews)
Weight : 3.8 lbs


Product Description

853 Reynolds Steel Tubing (Available in Mtb Frame and Single Speed)


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Reviews 1 - 14 (14 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rich Nickla from Oceanside, CA

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2005

Strengths:    The biggest strengths are Brent and Katrin. Best customer service in the business. As for the frame, perfect welds, well thought-out design, Paul drop-outs (it's a single speed), and the bike disappears under you.

Weaknesses:    nada

Bottom Line:   
I spent 10 years looking for a replacement for my Bontrager and many bikes came and went, but none rode as well until now. I've been riding my Manzanita for going on 4 years and it handles flawlessly in all conditions. The build quality is first-rate, the finish is very nice and durable, and best of all, I don't have to think about the bike ever when I'm riding. It just becomes an extension of myself, totally intuitive. I'd give it 10 chili's if I could, 5 isn't enough.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   eastern woods riding

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   direct from Steelman

Similar Products Used:   Bridestone MB-Zip, Bontrager Race Light, Litespeed Tsali, many others for short durations.

Bike Setup:   XT disc brakes (4-piston), 180mm Middleburn crank, Morati bar/stem combo and seat post, hand-built wheelset w/ Paul hubs and Velocity disc rims, White Bros XC-4 fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric a Cross Country Rider from Jacksonville

Date Reviewed: January 30, 2003

Strengths:    custom size,mix of tubing sizes,geometry, just about anything.

Weaknesses:    not a single one

Bottom Line:   
NOTHING EVEN COMES CLOSE TO THIS FRAME! Brent built this bike with Dedacciai front triangle and columbus foco rear. The chain stays are as large as a klein and look sweet with the massive taper to the dropouts. Bottom line....Best custom steel frame around. If you are in the market for a steel frame dont waste your time calling anybody eles.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1250.00

Purchased At:   steelman cycles

Similar Products Used:   voodoo bizango 853, but this was mass produced so its not even close if you think about it.

Bike Setup:   full xtr,chris king iso,hope minis,marzzocchi atom bomb 100mm

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jwb from mpls, mn

Date Reviewed: October 2, 2002

Strengths:    Quality of construction. Steelman's dedication to the sport of cycling. Custom options. Durable finish. Fit. Ride. Product support.

Weaknesses:    not a single one

Bottom Line:   
This is my second Steelman hardtail and my third Steelman in the last 7 years. See my post from 2000 below. I purchased a new one only because I wanted a little different frame size and a new color, so Brent made me a custom Manzanita. Hands down, this the finest hardtail in production. Quick, good balance, light & strong.

Brent and his wife Katrin have always answered my questions promptly and honestly. Service like this isn't common and should be rewarded. Anyone interested in a steel frame should seriously consider a frame from Steelman Cycles. You won't be disappointed.




Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Test of Metal, BC

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Steel Mtn Bikes I own or have owned: Yeti, Fat Chance, Bontrager, Bridgestone, Salsa, Strong Racing, Sycip, Surly and IF.

Bike Setup:   XT group with King HS, DT-Swiss 240 disc / Mavic X317, Hayes discs, Marzocchi Marathon

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Myers a Racer from Albuquerque

Date Reviewed: September 20, 2002

Strengths:    It's made of steel, stiff, resilent, and repairable. Perfect geometry, fits me great, two top tube lenghths available in each size. The best welds I've ever seen on a steel frame. Handles better than any bike I've owned.

Weaknesses:    Because it is steel it is heavier than most other materials.The the ride quality and repairability is worth it to me, though.

Bottom Line:   
Well, I ride a rigid singlespeed, so I'm obviously a little different than most. I do live where there are REAL mountains (the Sandias, which I can ride to, rise up to 10,689', 6000' above the city), and the trail are quite rocky. I ride every day on my Steelman, and have ridden it for over a year now, so I feal confident in my review.
It is , without a doubt, the best bike I have ever owned or ridden (I've been riding MTB since 1990 and worked in bike shops for over 7 years, so I've ridden most everything). In fact I just puchased a Steelman Eurocrss (cyclocross) frame, and intend to buy a fleet of their bikes (I need to add a road bike and a geared Manzanita).
Botom line is, if your looking for a hardtail frame, and don't be swayed into the full suspension hype-a hardtail will make you a better rider, BUY A STEELMAN! You will not be disappointed!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Jones Creek - Hermaosa Creek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Two Wheel Drive

Similar Products Used:   Well, all the bikes I've owned are Brigestone MB-2, MB-1, Canaondale F-2000 (mistake, worst of the lot), Yeti ARC (best descending hardtail ever), DeKerf Team, Klein Adoit Team(fragile, but supelative climber)

Bike Setup:   Single Speed, Sycip segmented rigid fork, XTR 180mm cranks w/ Spot ring, Phil Wood hubs, Mavic UST rims, Avid Black Ops brakes, Monkey Light bar, Easton magnesium stem, Flight saddle, Thomson post, 959 pedals, Big fat tires sealed with liquid latex.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BIKE4PHUN a Weekend Warrior from IN

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2001

Strengths:    Fast, great geometry, beautiful paint, expert fit, steel!

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Fat ride, go call Brent and order one!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Slickrock

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Hodson's Bay Company

Similar Products Used:   Klein, Bontrager. NOTHING IS SIMILAR TO THIS (except maybe an IF or Cherry, haven't ridden either yet)

Bike Setup:   XT/XTR/KING (the usual)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by J. Curtis a Cross Country Rider from Manhattan, KS

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2001

Strengths:    As good as a hardtail mountain bike frame can be. Everything you need, and nothing you don't.

Bottom Line:   
After about 2 months and 400-500 miles of riding, I finally feel like I can write a full review of my Manzanita. Had I written this when I first opened the box and pulled my beautiful persimmon sparkle (read: metallic orange) out it would have been something like: Sweet, Sweet, Sweet. Emotional and glowing, yes. But, somewhat lacking in objectivity. Now, with a few miles and a couple of crashes uner our collective belt, here is my review: Sweet, Sweet, Sweet, Sweet!

I actually like the frame more now, than I did when I first unwrapped it. The Manzanita is the perfect hardtail: light, stiff, comfortable et cetera. And the ride; well, the ride is better than any other frame I've ridden. I have an affinity for steel hardtails, and have owned a few superb examples: Serotta CMS (which, although a very well made and beatiful frame, I never felt 'right' on it), a full custom Rock Lobster (circa 1990, Columbous OR tubing, fillet brazed; awesome bike, it just got old), and a few others. The Manzanita is, in its own subtle way, the best I've ridden. I can't describe the ride, other than to say it's exactly what I wanted it to be. And the craftsmanship is topnotch, as much art as function.

Also, Brent Steelman was a joy to deal with. He promptly responded to every email and phone message. He patiently answered all of my questions and made me realize that he truly wanted me to be 100 per cent satisfied with my frame. He made me feel very comfortable with handing him more than a thousand dollars for a frame, sight unseen. This level of trust is rare, I think.

I could ramble on for hours about why I love my Manzanita. But I won't. Suffice to say that it is exactly what I wanted, and I am confident ... no, convinced ... that my frame is as good as ... and probably better than ... any frame from any builder, made from any material.

Jealous of those riding ti Sevens? Nah. Envious of those on aluminum Ventanas? No way. My Steelman blows those bikes away. It's simply superior. At any price. And the fact that it was an utter bargain at a little over a grand only sweetens my satisfaction.

Steelman has a lifelong customer in this rider from the plains of Kansas. Now I'm scheming how to slip a Eurocross under the wife's nose this fall!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Steelman


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mahnke Tom a Racer from Austin,TX

Date Reviewed: May 8, 2001

Strengths:    This bike rips! It does everything that I ask and more. It makes me feel like I am a better rider than I really am. Great powder coat colors. Make sure you have him make you a stem...a nice touch.

Weaknesses:    Riding the bike for a year still have found no weakness, except the rider.

Bottom Line:   
This is the finest steel frame available. I have had two of his road bikes and they are also amazing. Brent will talk to you until you are satisfied with what you are getting. It is good to know that there are people out there like Brent that still care what they are selling and take a great deal of pride in their work.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   womble

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   complete from Brent

Similar Products Used:   Bontrager and specialized.

Bike Setup:   All XT with marzochhi Atom 80

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Marshall Howard a Cross Country Rider from San Jose, California, U.S.A.

Date Reviewed: April 16, 2001

Strengths:    Strong[Does not bend or break like the others], Mobile, Fast[Up and down], Extremely agile, Handcrafted beauty, Perfection everywhere

Weaknesses:    NONE- This bike kicks a--!!

Bottom Line:   
This is the only bike that has stood up to my abuse. It does everything right and is very predictable. There are no flaws in this bike at all. This is the bike you didn't think existed!! If you want the best, this is it!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   TOP SECRET

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Steelman Cycles

Similar Products Used:   There is no similar product. Other bikes tried:
Peugot
Diamond Back
Specialized
Fisher


Bike Setup:   XTR, King hubs and headset, Rock Shox

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Josh Davidson a Racer from Campbell, CA USA

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2000

Strengths:    Steel is real!!! Light and strong with just a touch of give to make for an aggressive and agile shredding machine. I rode my last Steelman bike for 3 years before it was ripped off and it withstood an amazing amount of punishment. The new frames have a much more aggressive design which instills greater confidence on those steep technical sections as well as the bombing downhills. Extremely well built with cool color choices; I wouldn't ride anything else.

Weaknesses:    No disk brake set up on my 1 year old frame but I think this has been added to the newer models.

Bottom Line:   
If you want a bike to last forever and perform better than anything you've ever been on- get a Steelman! You will never go back to anything else. (I've been riding for over 10 years and raced Expert for 3 and I know what I am talking about.)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Steeper, the better

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Steelman Singletrack, GT, Jamis, Bianchi

Bike Setup:   XTR everywhere, Marzocchi Atom 80 (Marzocchi is great!!!) and all kinds of top of the line swag.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Victor Fung a Cross Country Rider from Newark, CA

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2000

Strengths:    Craftmanship, Simplicity, Aesthetic Beautiful, One of a Kind, and Hand Built by the Man Himself ... Brent Steelman

Weaknesses:    weakness ?? What is that ?

Bottom Line:   
If you are looking for the perfect custom bike for cross country, the Manzanita is the bike for you. Anyone who has been in Manzanita Trail knows how tight and fast the single tracks can be, thus the name for the bike. The sloping top tube gives plenty of stand over height for those "holy-molly" situation, and the the custom top tube (23" on a 14" frame)provide plenty of comfort for on the saddle climbing without the sensation that your buttocks are behind/over the saddle. Match this frame with a custom stem and there will be no single track you can not conquer or attempt. Aside from the frame, you will not find a finer group of individuals on the shop that will provide excellent customer service and expertise like John and Catherine. They love what they do. If they are not too busy building frames for the world, who knows, they might invite you for a bike ride. They invited me. Now, where else can you find that type of interaction and attention ??

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Skeggs & Big Basin Santa Cruz

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Kona Explosif
Kona King-Kahuna
Kona Cinder Cone
Keith Anderson Custom Frame from Moab, UT


Bike Setup:   Atom Bomb and XTR ... only the best with this frame ... anything less, is uncivilized. After you get the frame, you would not want to put anything less than XTR.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JW BOUCHER a Cross Country Rider from MINNESOTA

Date Reviewed: June 9, 2000

Strengths:    Ride, custom options (HAYES DISC Mounts, custom top tube, and triple bottle mounts), finish, craftsmanship.

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
This is the best riding mtb bike I have ridden. It just rides right. Brent built it right for me, exactly the way I wanted it. Weight distribution is perfect. BB height is perfect for the fork I told him I was using. He makes his own disc brake mounts. Each frame size requires a unique mount and it is in perfect position and alignment. Details like this are rare.

Finish is great. Powdercoating has come a long way. Welds are perfect.

Did I say the ride?? Oh yeah, it rides great!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   BERRYMAN and WHITE RIM

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   owned fat chance wicked and yo, bontrager, IF, & SALSA

Bike Setup:   HAYES DISCS, HUGI HUBS, RACE FACE, XTR, MARZOCCHI Z-2 ATOM 80

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ron Bolds a Cross Country Rider from Marin County, CA (birth of MTB)

Date Reviewed: June 8, 2000

Strengths:    Imagine a bike that rides and handles exactly how you want it to. Add to this the ability to have your bike custom made and craftsmanship rarely seen these days, then you will know what its like to have a Steelman.

Weaknesses:    The only weakness I am aware of is "Rob Schmidlen" can't ride it fast enough.

Bottom Line:   
I'll be short and to the point. Once you go STEELMAN, you'll never go back!

Deserves more then 5 stars if others out there are getting 5.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Marin has soooooo many!

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   I don't think there is a similar product.

Bike Setup:   Single Speed w/Paul dropouts, XTR, Rock Shox SidSL 80 (What else is there?), Paul Hubs, Mavic 517, Monkey Lite Bars...(Hi Rise)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rob Schmidlen a Cross Country Rider from Santa Clara

Date Reviewed: June 6, 2000

Strengths:    Workmanship
Craftmanship
Steelmanship


Weaknesses:    I cant ride fast enough

Bottom Line:   
Get off your Kmart specials and get a Real bike!
Words alone cannot describe the feeling you get when you ride a STEELMAN. It has put the fun factor back in my riding. Descend like an out of control kamakazi pilot, climb like a goat.
If you have to ask you would'nt understand.
It's a STEELMAN thing you would'nt understand.
Yo quierro STEELMAN.
Once you go STEELMAN you'll never go Diamondback.
All B.S. aside They make the best handbuilt bikes you could ask for. Do your self a favor Ride one.
Have STEELMAN go fast. Rob

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any singletrack not yet ridden

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn
Specialized
Dimondback


Bike Setup:   XTR w/ Suprefly What else is there?

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Phipps a Cross Country Rider from MA.

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2000

Strengths:    How much time to we have?

Weaknesses:    Is this a trick question?

Bottom Line:   
Lets make this real easy, Brent Steelman makes the sweetest steel frames around period. I explained to Brent what I was looking for and he delivered the goods. If your looking for the ultimate singletrack machine this is it. The front triangle is stiff just point and shoot, long seatstays smooth things out in the rear. This frame just begs to be ridden faster and faster making me feel younger and alive. I brought the bike to my current LBS(who deals with IF)everyone turned thier heads. Some kept quiet while others admitted is lushness. One truely amazing ride, Brent is very knowledgable will take your weight and riding style into consideration when builing your frame. This frame as to be the best kept secret in MTB. Do your self a favor call Brent he's just a phone call away. Want to know more feel free to email me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Brimfield State forest

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Rhygin JukeSS
Litespeed Ocoee


Bike Setup:   Sram 9.0sl, Raceface, Rockshox, Chris King and Maguras just to name a few.

Reviews 1 - 14 (14 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

 

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